Gymnastic Team Stands Against Larry Nassar

Gymnastic Team Stands Against Larry Nassar

On September 15th, 2021, four elite American gymnasts finally speak out on the abuse they had to endure by the former USA Gymnastics doctor, Larry Nassar, and how they felt betrayed by the investigators, and the FBI, which they feel have let them down.

Gymnastic member Simone Biles had said in a courtroom that she blames Nassar and “an entire system that allowed his abuse,” which includes the USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee. Biles continues, “The scars of this horrific abuse continues,” She had testified to them, saying that, “the impact of this man’s abuse will never be over.” 

In the courtroom, McKayla Maroney, another Gymnastic member, said that she met him in a training camp when she was 13 years old and the first thing he ever said to her was to “change into shorts with nothing under” would make it “easier” to work on her. Maroney then said that he had molested her and that he “turned out to be more of a pedophile than he was a doctor.”

Maroney said that, in 2015, she recalled sitting on her bedroom floor, telling the FBI on the phone all of her sexual abuse in extreme detail. She said that after telling them the details of her abuse that Nassar provided, including her winning her team a gold medal at the London Olympics in 2012, she cried and there was just silence on the other line that the FBI agent was on. The FBI then falsified her statement and she said that the agents involved should be indicted and criticized Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco for not appearing at the hearing.

“I am tired of waiting for people to do the right thing.” Maroney said.

A interviewer of this team, interviewed a 20 year old woman named Kaitlyn Rietkerk and I asked what she thought about the gymnastics team and Larry Nassar incident and she replied with, “I personally think it’s sad that it took 18 years for the girls to come out about the sexual abuse because everyone down plays sexual abuse and the justice system tends to let the abuser get away due to lack of evidence. Due to all the girls that spoke out, and he was senteced to 150 years.” 

“If you were one of the FBI Agents that was supposed to help McKayla Maroney, would you help her?” and her response to that was, “100%, I would’ve helped her. The FBI made false reports on what the girl said to cover up for Nassar. So it took longer for the girls to get the closure they deserved. Knowing that the abuser is walking around still, is hard to be able to just live and be yourself. Now that he’s behind bars, it helps them get closure and be ableto just live again and get the help they need.”

A member of our team asked a Voices Against Violence Coordinatior, Noemi Juarez. We asked, “What trauma comes from a women who have been sexually assulted?” She responded with, “Every 73 seconds, an American is sexually assulted and 1 out of 6 women have been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. Sexual assult comes with many impacts. Victims of sexual assult, have a hard time with disclosing the abuse for fear of not being believed, fear of retaliation, fear of losing access to academics or career, fear of losing friends and family. This is a lot of stress to deal with and can cause a stressful living routine.” 

Next, she explains the possibilities of what they may do, “Victims are at risk for having physical, sexual, and behavioral health issues. At the beginning, victims may blame themselves for what happened and victims may experience nightmares, fatigue, body aches, headaches, flashbacks, insomnia, loss of appetite, and may become withdrawn. Later, victims experience PTSD, loss of trust, may develop mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts. Victims can have a decrease in productivity, may struggle in school or work, and, unfortunately, may find negative ways to cope such as engaging in risky behavior or substance abuse.”

She finishes up with, “If someone has experienced sexual assualt, it is important to know that they are not alone and ther is support. Voices Against Violence provides free services to victims of assualt, through case manaments, shelter, counseling, support groups, and some much more!” They strive to be there to empower victims and to give them their voice back!


Voices Against Voilence contact information:

Text: 408-675-2023

Call: 208-733-0100

Email: [email protected]